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Who doesn’t enjoy a good old road trip? Every year as the Easter Holiday period approaches, our thoughts turn to which part of this beautiful country we’ll be exploring. Traditionally, the Thursday before Easter is one of our busiest days on the road.
There’s a bit more to it than just chucking the kids, suitcases, and boogie boards in the back of the car. Planning is key, don’t leave it until the last minute to ensure your car is road trip ready. Your life and the life of your passengers and other road users depend on it.
Here’s a short checklist of things you should get your mechanic to check.
Do a visual check. How does the tread look? Minimum tread depth is 2mm. If you don't have a depth gauge you can use the head of a match to check this.
Do this when the tyres are cold. If you do it when the tyres are hot, you’ll get a false reading. Don’t forget the spare. Recently I changed the air in my tyres for nitrogen gas.
This will give me better grip as the tyres warm up, prolong the life of the tyres, give me better fuel economy, and eliminate the need for frequent tyre pressure checking.
However, regular tyre maintenance is still necessary. Lachlan and his team at Bob Jane Toowoomba can help you if you’re considering making the change to nitrogen.
Note the different coloured caps. This lets anyone working on my tyres know they are inflated with gas and not air. The cost to change over from air to Nitrogen was $5 per wheel.
Lights (including indicators, brake, and tail)
Other motorists rely on these signals to let them know your intended driving actions.
Cooling system (radiator and air conditioning)
If your road trip is going to involve towing a trailer, caravan or a boat, your preparation and safety checks are going to take a bit longer. After checking all the things that I’ve mentioned above, make sure that whatever it is you’re towing is securely hitched to your vehicle. The single most important thing is that your vehicle has the capacity to tow the weight of the trailer, caravan, or boat.
Navigating from A to B
There are several apps that can help you plan your route, the most popular being Google maps. Personally, I like Waze because it gives “real time” traffic reports. However, if you are a little bit old school like me, RACQ have paper maps still available. These are free to RACQ members.
There’s no denying that the roads will be busy this Easter so don’t leave your mechanical checks until the last minute. Make arrangements to have your vehicle checked well before your planned depature date. Know the route you’re taking and plan rest stops to avoid fatigue.
Oh yes, and one final thing, enjoy your time with family and friends!